Granite has been the star of high-end kitchen design for years, and its popularity shows no sign of waning. The highly reflective surface and variable patterns make it unsuitable for some kitchens, however, while other homeowners just want to set their kitchens apart from the pack. If you’re looking for a unique, beautiful and resilient countertop for your kitchen remodel, consider one of these outstanding options:
When it comes to beauty and timeless elegance, no other material can compete with marble. Softer than granite and cool to the touch, marble is delicate and can be marred by scratches or stains. If you love a luxurious surface that shows the wear of time and use, marble may be the perfect choice.
Rich, gray soapstone is a natural stone with a silky feel that is also surprisingly strong. Soapstone is only available in dark colors that deepen with time, developing a burnished patina as they age. Soapstone is extremely heat resistant, making it a popular choice for amateur chefs.
Always popular wooden countertops are appearing more often in modern kitchens. Wood counters need to be oiled from time to time to hold their luster and prevent cracking, but they are otherwise durable and longwearing. Using wood counters on an island or bar top adds a hint of unexpected warmth in modern kitchens.
Manufactured quartz countertops are made of stone combined with polymers and compressed under high pressure. Almost as strong as granite and non-porous with a deep luster and shine, quartz countertops are available in dozens of colors with patterns that are consistent, unlike those found in natural stone.
In the hands of a skilled artisan, concrete assumes almost any color, shape or counter design. The addition of glass, shells or other materials gives concrete counters the look of terrazzo or mosaic, and modern finishing techniques deliver smooth, strong and seamless high-gloss surfaces.
Made by coating the back of a thick sheet of clear glass with paint, glass countertops display luminous color and depth. Glass is an unexpected material in any setting. It’s amazingly strong, incredibly easy to clean and simple to customize to any palette or style.
Made from up to 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper fortified with petroleum-free resins, Paperstone is an environmentally friendly option that is waterproof and available in smooth or textured surfaces that are reminiscent of stone, concrete and leather. Paperstone counters are a great way to increase sustainability without sacrificing style.
First developed at the turn of the 20th century, stainless steel countertops have been in use for decades. Stainless is sleekly modern and adds up market, industrial flair to contemporary kitchens. The rise of the local food movement and the new emphasis on creative home cooking has made stainless even more popular.
Before granite stole the spotlight, Corian was the go-to material in designer kitchens, and Corian is making a comeback in a big way. Made from mineral powders combined with acrylic or polyester binders, sleek, seamless Corian is available in dozens of contemporary colors and patterns intended to suit the sensibilities of modern design.